News to use

Generally, I don’t write “week in review” pieces.


It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it’s just that there is no way I can compete with the deliciousness that is Entertainment Weekly.

This week, however, has played out like a drunken bar fight between Snooki and Courtney Stodden, all caught on video by a Blackberry Storm. So, here’s my attempt to be the TMZ thorn in EW’s side:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Breaking news: Mari gets rejected!

As you may recall, I applied to Lesley University’s M.F.A. program for creative writing for stage and screen. After months of checking the mailbox and rummaging through envelopes like a beagle looking for a dead duck, the librarian took over the mailbox duty. I think she grew tired of finding our bills scattered along the entrance of our building. We agreed that if I received good news, she would immediately tell me and if it was a rejection letter, she would place a bottle of delicious orange-flavored Grey Goose vodka in the freezer. So, for three weeks, I checked the freezer only to find other frozen animals. Until Monday.

I found a goose in the freezer and a Dear John letter on the table. I didn’t polish off the bottle because I’m waiting to hear back from Queens University of Charlotte.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mari involved in a traffic incident with a pussy cat!

It was a rough Tuesday morning. A horrible rain storm accompanied me all the way to work. Driving in stop-and-go traffic I noticed a kitten run across the highway, dodging and weaving cars. It made it all the way across and stopped at the concrete divider that separates the North- and South-bound traffic on the Palmetto Expressway, narrowly escaping a horrible fate. Before I had time to process what I had just seen, right in front of me a kitten appeared from under the car in front of me. Completely intact, all four wheels had missed it, as it strategically placed itself in the center of the lane. Without thinking, I got out of my car and grabbed the soaking wet fur ball.

I placed the kitten on the floor of the passenger seat, next to my softball cleats, bat and glove. It stared at me with its bright blue eyes, trembling, with only the sound of the windshield wipers swishing away the rain.

“Hi,” I said.

“Cat, I have bad news, I couldn’t grab your brother,” and with that, I started crying.

“I’m sorry, cat. I don’t know why I’m crying. I got my period yesterday and I also got a rejection letter from Lesley.”

“Meow,” said the cat.

This made me sob uncontrollably.

“Oh my God, I don’t even know what I’m doing. I can’t bring an animal to work! No offense, cat. But, seriously. I don’t know what’s going to happen with you. I can’t promise I can bring you home with me. The librarian is allergic and I don’t like hair, which, I know, is weird because I have hair and I’m really bad about shaving my legs.”

I grab a tissue and blow my nose.

“I’m sorry. You’ve been through a serious traumatic event and here I am blabbering. Your shaking so much little cat. Let’s relax with some NPR.”

I turn on the radio and as soon as the kitten hears the booming voice of Renee Montagne, it crawls under the passenger seat.

“Sorry! Sorry!” I tell the cat while scrambling to turn off the radio.

We drove in silence until we got to work. She would occasionally meow from under the seat, just to let me know she was okay. Inside the garage, I grabbed her once again and wrapped her in a sweatshirt I had in my trunk. Hoping no one would notice, we boarded the elevator, but she meowed just loud enough for a co-worker to hear. I uncovered the kitten to show her the source of the meowing and before I knew it, the entire floor came together to help. I went down to the cafeteria to get milk and coffee (coffee for me). And, by the time I returned, someone found a box, another person was drying the kitten with a towel, and another had claimed her as her own.

Driving home that afternoon, I expected to see a kitten jump out in front of my car again. No such luck.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Exclusive! Mari listens to music!

Some mornings I remember to pack a lunch. Every morning I remember to pack my Mac. I place it right next to my work laptop (a PC) to make it feel inadequate. Seeing the Mac reminds me of my brief stint at an ad agency and reminds me of all my unfinished scripts, treatments and short stories. It also functions as my people blocker. I plug-in my white ear buds to this machine and it helps me drown out all of the chit-chat, phone calls and conversations that surround me in an office open-floor plan.

It works so well that I sometimes miss phone calls and don’t immediately notice if someone is trying to talk to me. So, it wasn’t a surprise that I was surprised by the presence of a co-worker in my cubicle.

“Oh, hello,” I said while pulling an ear bud out of my ear.

She asked, “Can you turn that down?”

I looked at my Mac to make sure my buds were still connected. I looked back up at her, confused. I clicked the volume control twice.

“How’s that?”

“That’s great, thanks.”

As soon as she left, I put the volume back up. I thought, bitch, I saved a cat yesterday. I get to listen to music as loud as I want! But, this only made me sad. I thought about the other kitten. How it surely met its death on the Palmetto. I convinced myself that someone, like me, stopped for it. I mean, I’m not that much of an animal lover and I stopped. Surely, someone else did too, right?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mari has a drink!

“Dear softball players, The field is flooded. All softball games scheduled for this evening are cancelled.”

This was the best news I had received all week. I didn’t have to subject myself to dodging baseball bats nor to the embarrassment of striking out. Good thing I double-booked a happy hour with former colleagues.

Our newly formed all-girl band, The Architers (we’re made up of four architects and one writer),  headed out to our happy hour destination – a gourmet beer place, with gourmet food that the kitchen ran out of, so we were left with just the beer. I had a beer called, “Stone Cold Bastard,” because it sounded tough, but it tasted exactly like my mouth on Tuesday morning. To avoid a repeat of kitten-day, I decided to go easy on the libations and heavy on the Vietnamese food. And, to make sure I was golden with The Librarian (and to cover that stank beer and cigarette breath), I showed up with frozen yogurt in hand.

Friday, October 21, 2011

It’s Mari, bitch.

I woke up to 65 degree weather. I threw on jeans, a grey wife beater and a leather jacket.

That’s right. A grey leather jacket.

I looked especially cool when I went down for my morning cigarette and it was already 78 degrees.

A fellow smoker walked up to me and said, “I heard about the kitten you found on the Palmetto.”

I smiled.

“I found the other one in between the concrete divider.”

That news beat out the email from the softball league, it made me forget about the letter from Lesley and I didn’t even care that I still had my period. Everything that was completely upside down otherwise seemed to fall into place. And, I finally felt vindicated, because, in essence, he had proved a theory that I had surmised a very long time ago: Smokers are the nicest people on the face of the Earth.

Published by Mari

I was born with a widow's peak and a thick accent. I majored in English as a second language. I work ( and travel ( and sometimes do both.

4 thoughts on “News to use

  1. No WAY! That is an amazing story with such a satisfying ending. I love your writing. (You mentioned screen writing–my husband found it helpful to finish screenplays by joining Screenwriters Online. The only downside is the cost, but it can pay off big if it gets you an agent or manager.) You obviously have the writing talent! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love discovering great authors.

    1. Wow, thank you so much! That means a lot and I enjoy your blog too. And, thanks for the advice, I’m going to check out Screenwriters Online.

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